“In case you are wondering, I am 37 years old. I don’t lie about my age and neither did my grandmother.”
Why do women lie about their age? This is a common practice in society, and until recently one that I have always condemned. In fact, at the beginning of this year I wrote a piece about my grandmother and how she didn’t lie about her age and neither will I. Almost one year older, I have softened toward my harsh judgment of women that have stopped telling the truth about their birthdays. I understand why it’s not necessary to divulge every single little fact — less is better.
Guess what? Society thinks so, too. You might think I am flattered to be constantly mistaken for someone in my late 20s. However, at a certain point you want to take credit for the many chapters you have lived — at least that’s my perspective. What I know now and what I knew as a 27-year-old is like parting the waters in the Old Testament … If you believe in that sort of thing that is. This isn’t about Moses, this isn’t about compliments. This is about a certain clarification, an understanding I have reached where I finally understand my sex. I see why women might need to lie. A woman is judged harshly by their age. I don’t think a man in his mid-30s has ever heard that ghastly compliment that feels like flint rock in your face, “You look young for your age.”
I have never mentioned this in my columns before, but I will now. My fiancé is younger than me. Recently, I was out with some friends at my favorite hangout in Rancho Santa Fe. The topic came up amongst three women and one man whom shall all remain anonymous. I found out that I was viewed as the “older woman” in my relationship by my closest circle of friends. I suddenly had flashbacks to that infamous movie, “The Graduate.” Am I considered the Mrs. Robinson? My eyebrows furrowed and tears were eminent. Wait, no tears yet! Anne Bancroft, yes, at least she was sexy, I thought.
Well, you should have seen me the next day at Rite Aid. There I was in front of every age-defying cream I could get my hands on, body scrubs and butter moisturizers. I went home that evening and gave myself a two-hour treatment. I exfoliated, I tweezed, and I covered myself in a sugar scrub bath. Then I finished with one of those green mud masks that would scare the nextdoor neighbor if they had stopped by unexpectedly. When I finished I looked amazingly … the same. I stood there thinking, “This is what 37 looks like I guess.”
Maybe it is time for Botox. I just found out one of my good friends — who is almost 10 years younger in age — has already started her injections. She has succumbed to the peer pressure society so easily projects onto the sensitivity of my gender: “Don’t grow old gracefully.” And why should we if we have other options to look young? If it is so important that youth must calculate the magnitude of a woman’s worth, this may be my only option. Why not lie if this allows a woman more freedom from the obvious scrutiny age puts upon our delicate female egos?
But, wait! What would my grandmother think? I’m sure she would have said: “Be truthful, Machel.” OK, maybe integrity is still better than what society thinks. It’s a good thing someone figured out how to use botulism properly. I wouldn’t want to disappoint my grandmother. Of course, the Botox treatment wouldn’t have been her option either. I may have to rethink this. I guess, just call me Mrs. Robinson.
On Nov. 19, the first meeting for next year’s Helen Woodward charity event was held in Fairbanks. Event chairs this year are the McCrink sisters — Katie Shull and Laurel McCrink. Other chair holders include Elizabeth Davidson, Renee Resko and Julie Watkins. The theme will be “Shangri Paw.” Last year’s “Hollywoof” was a huge success in raising money for this wonderful organization. The theme is based on Shangri La, a mythical, magical Utopia supposedly located somewhere between Nepal and Tibet. The myth goes, as long as you are in the rich exotic gardens of Shangri La, you will always be happy and never grow old. Where do I sign up? Last year, I attended Hollywoof, which was a smashing, dashing evening. I’m sure Shangri Paw will be one of the “must-attend events” of Rancho Santa Fe’s calendar in 2009. If you have any questions regarding this upcoming charity event or if you would like to help contribute, call Renee Resko at (858) 756-4117, ext. 347 for more details.
On Nov. 21, Roger Rowe School held its Thanksgiving assembly in the gymnasium. Afterward, parents were invited back to their child’s classroom for more fun festive activities. Mr. Cervantes, my son’s third-grade teacher, had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner for all of the parents to enjoy. Rebecca Burnett did an amazing job of organizing the event. I snapped a lovely photo of Todd, Gianna and Juli Shain with Marie Vautour. Thank you so much to all of the parents who donated their time to make that day extra special for Mr. Cervante’s third-grade class.
Later that evening, the movie “Twilight” opened in theaters across America. This movie is based on the book written by Stephanie Meyer, which has become one of the most popular juvenile books since the “Harry Potter” series. The movie, directed by Catherine Hardwicke, made history as the highest grossing film with a female director. The film grossed almost $71 million over the opening weekend. I had to run to the theaters to see what all of the fuss was about. I must admit I haven’t read the book, but now I am tempted after seeing the movie. The beginning of the film was a bit sluggish. However, the chemistry between the two leads keeps you locked in this visually pleasing drama. Plan to see this and the sequel. Watch out Batman. I think I will definitely read the book now, too.
On Nov. 26, I was around town in downtown Rancho Santa Fe when I ran into Kerry Cooper and John Merutka. They celebrated Kerry’s birthday in Mille Fleurs’ dining room, then later mingled in the piano bar. They were kind enough to buy a glass of champagne for me and share a gorgeous photo, which captured their delightful evening. Kerry informed me that her birthday was actually in August and this was her first opportunity to celebrate because of her daunting work schedule. As a CEO of some fabulous company, her work schedule is more than your typical nine to five. We made a toast to looking beautiful and “No Botox.” We’ll see if I can still say the same in five years …
Another interesting story developed that evening when I met an intriguing out-of-towner named Ken Houghton. His gentlemanly posture and inquisitive blue eyes lured me in to find out more interesting details about his life’s story. Mr. Houghton had the pleasure of meeting Carry Grant and John Wayne during his lifetime. He explained to me that Mr. Wayne had “enormous hands” and Mr. Grant’s social profile did not necessarily match his private one. No comment. I still love Cary Grant just the same. Mr. Houghton went on to explain to me why Tesla contributed more toward electricity than Thomas Edison. We even discussed the theories of quantum physics. The intense one-hour conversation left me feeling inspired. You never know who you might meet when you are downtown in Rancho Santa Fe. It pays to get out and live a little. It’s also good to support the economy. Buy a soda by all means.
Save the date
On Jan. 25, let the runners in San Diego and all over America get ready to put on their running shoes. The half marathon/marathon begins at 6 a.m. My good friend Jill Drouin and I will be running in the half marathon that starts at 7:30 a.m. I participated in the challenging event in 2005. Let’s hope I can make it this year across the finish line. Bring your family and cheer on your friends. I will keep you posted on any updates over the holidays.
Filed Under: Machel's Ranch